Language choice and internationalisation: The roles of Swedish and English in research and higher education
Report, 2022

How strong is the status of English at Swedish universities today?

The growing footprint of English over Swedish was one of the clearest drivers for Sweden’s 2009 Language Act. In the debate attending the Language Act, higher education and research were the societal domains widely perceived to have seen the greatest spread of English.

The report Language choice and internationalisation presents the results of a study of the languages used for teaching and publication at Swedish universities. It is a follow-up to a similar study from 2010.

The results show that the use of English at Swedish universities has continued to increase since 2010. The increase has been particularly great in the humanities, where Swedish was previously the dominant language of instruction. The trend is the same for language of publication. The proportion of doctoral theses and articles written in English has long been very high in some disciplines, such as the natural sciences and engineering and technology; now, a sharp increase has occurred in the volume of English-language research writing in the humanities and social sciences.

Medium of instruction



Language of instruction

Internationalisation of higher education

Language policy in higher education


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Chalmers, Communication and Learning in Science, Language and Communication

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City University of Hong Kong

Subject Categories

Educational Sciences

General Language Studies and Linguistics

Specific Languages

Learning and teaching

Pedagogical work




Språkrådet (Institutet för språk och folkminnen)

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